The Gladstone Theatre announces a wall-to-wall new season

With 21 shows on its roster, The Gladstone Theatre promises to be one of the liveliest spots in town next season.

Productions in 2017-18 run from the mid-September season opener Mothers and Daughters: A Musical by S. Oscar Martin and others (SOME Theatre Company) to Robert Schenkkan’s dystopian political drama Building the Wall (by award-winning Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre).

Bear & Co. presents the original No Way to Say Goodbye: Songs of Leonard Cohen. Plosive Productions is onboard with Phil Porter’s comedy Blink. And crowd-favourite Jayson McDonald is back with Snake Oil, a salvation-in-a-bottle piece produced by Black Sheep Theatre.

Thanks to The Gladstone’s mix of five resident companies, a cavalcade of guest companies, and a blend of professional, community and some short-run shows, there’s much more on tap. That includes three productions by the impressive TotoToo Theatre – Larry Kramer’s AIDS-based drama The Normal Heart among them – and a Three Sisters Theatre production of Sarah Ruhl’s romantic comedy The Clean House.

When no theatre shows are running, The Gladstone will be hopping with music and other events.

“Working on the facility is like trying to change the tires on a moving car. It’s very exciting but a real challenge,” says The Gladstone’s theatre manager AL Connors. He took on the job earlier this year.

The Gladstone, once home to the Great Canadian Theatre Company, became a non-profit organization in 2016, leasing the space from the property owner. Connors has nothing to do with the programming, which is entirely the responsibility of the theatre companies that rent the space for a set period.

Connors believes that the arrangement helps nurture Ottawa’s independent theatre scene. “What you see on stage is what the (theatre) community has put together.”

Just as importantly, the theatre is critical in venue-challenged Ottawa.

Says Connors, “I don’t know where else the 21 shows we’re announcing could go.”

For the full 2017-18 lineup, visit

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Patrick Langston covered English professional theatre for the Ottawa Citizen from 2008 to 2016. He also wrote about music, travel, the local housing industry and other subjects for the paper. Patrick continues to contribute to Ottawa Magazine, Diplomat and International Canada Magazine, and other publications.